Ron/James, Chili

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“This is great,” James said to the owner of the restaurant. They were in a little Thai vegan place they’d found and they were the only people in it. “I’ve never had it with this much ginger before. Even I never thought to put this much in.”

That was an outright lie, Ron thought, making sure his mouth was full so he didn’t say that. He’d ordered one of the menu items that had had one chili pepper beside it, the smallest number. James had ordered something with five peppers and asked if it could be hotter.

“Nobody ever does,” said the owner. “That’s what makes it good. Normally only Thai people get that, but all the flavour is there. And in the chilis.”

James nodded, eating one. “Yeah, definitely. Where do you get your chilis? These are hotter than the ones I grow.”

The owner started telling James all about how he grew his and what techniques he used and Ron ignored the whole thing, because if he didn’t listen, then he couldn’t fairly be expected to replicate them later in their own garden.

He could be unfairly expected to do that, but then he’d pout at James and make him feel bad. Only after the punishment, though.

James talked to the owner for a good ten more minutes. Ron chimed in only often enough not to be rude, and to say that his food was also good, which it was. He wouldn’t mind knowing how to cook the thing he was having, but he also thought that the point of going to restaurants was not knowing how to make the thing he’d eaten. If he could make it at home, there was no reason to come back.

A few other people came into the restaurant, which was good because Ron had worried that nobody would ever eat here and the poor guy would go out of business, and the owner left them alone. “He’s really nice,” said James, who was never this animated when talking to strangers.

“Yeah,” Ron agreed, nodding. He was.

“And he’s a really good cook. This is really delicious. You should…”

“I will literally use my safeword if you even offer that to me,” Ron interrupted. He could practically feel the heat emanating off James’s plate.

James chuckled, patting Ron’s hand across the table. “Okay. Enjoy your one chili.”

“It’s still pretty hot,” Ron muttered. “Could have done with like, half a chili, maybe.”

“I could have done with half a chili more,” James mused. “Anyway. I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I like it here, we should come back sometime.”

Ron nodded. “Yeah, we should. It’s a nice place.” And there were a few other one-chili items on the menu Ron wouldn’t mind trying.

Sporadically. With lots of rice on the side.



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